Recruiting Focus: Tight End

Tight end is an intriguing position for Syracuse in the 2015 cycle. CuseNation.com breaks down the top targets, names to watch and more inside.

Tight end is not a huge position of focus for Syracuse in the 2015 class, but they are still looking to add one or two players. In 2014, Syracuse added two tight end/wide receiver hybrids in Jamal Custis and Adly Enoicy. Tyler Provo was part of the 2013 class, and Kendall Moore and Josh Parris are also still young.

Recruiting Plan

At most, Syracuse will take two tight ends. The more likely scenario is that they land one in this cycle.

Top Targets

The top target is three-star Jake Pickard. Assistant Bobby Acosta visited him last week, and Pickard says Syracuse is "towards the top" of his list. He should be visiting within the next month or so and is interested in their business school. The main competition right now is Boston College, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers and Virginia. However, the Orange are looking at Pickard as an athlete that could play defensive end as well.

Amir Ealey is a freakishly athletic prospect who, like Pickard, can play multiple positions. He will likely take his time during his recruitment, and may attract big offers down the road. Maryland and Rutgers are two to watch, but a visit to Syracuse could happen over the summer.

Priority Targets

David Edwards is a four-star, elite level tight end prospect who hold a Syracuse offer. The Orange have stayed in touch, but know this is a tough battle. The good news for Syracuse is that he is likely to take his time during the process. This may allow the Orange to get Edwards on camps. Still, Michigan could be close to offering and that could really chance his recruitment. Edwards is likely a Big-10 player.

Coach Lester did stop by his school last week to try to set up a summer visit. Edwards says he is not sure of his interest in Syracuse and may try to get up there this summer.


3-star TE Chris Garrison

Chris Garrison is an athletic three-star prospect who holds a handful of offers. Syracuse originally offered as a linebacker, but Garrison was not willing to switch to the defensive side of the ball. After reviewing his film at tight end, the Orange switched the offer to the tight end position.

Garrison now says he is interested in Syracuse and hopes to visit over the summer.

Other Offerees

Chris Clark is one of the top tight end prospects in this class. He had Syracuse at as a leader as recently as last fall, but that seems like a long time ago. His recruitment has blown up and is no longer looking at the Orange as a legitimate option.

C.J. Conrad is another elite level prospect and will be deciding between Indiana and Kentucky over the next week.

Trevill Holcy is a 6-foot-5 wide receiver prospect who could be moved to tight end at the next level. His size with the ability to add weight to his frame. He could fit into the mix of the hybrid type that Syracuse has recruited over the last two cycles. The Orange will likely recruit him as a tight end, but this is one to watch down the road.

Names to Keep an Eye On

Maybe the most intriguing name is Connor Lutz out of Milford (Penn.). Syracuse has been in touch recently, and he will camp with the Orange over the summer in hopes of grabbing an offer. He plays tight end in high school, but may be moved to tackle if he can add some weight. Still, he is athletic and a solid blocker.

Jimmy Schultz at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey is another interesting name. Syracuse has started recruiting him recently and he may camp over the summer.

Michigan product Matt Seybert visited Syracuse for the spring game, and has the athleticism to play tight end or defensive end. He recently picked up his first offer from Buffalo, but is likely a backup plan for the Orange.

ASA junior college prospect Xavier Wilson may be an emergency player to keep an eye on as well.

Last cycle, Syracuse hit up Alabama to grab a prospect late in defensive tackle Jalen Harvey. Could the Orange do so again at tight end in 2015? It's possible and there are a few targets to monitor.


TE Kevin Marion

Kevin Marion plays receiver in high school, but may be best suited for tight end at the next level. His only offer is from James Madison for now, but has strong receiving skills to be a weapon in the passing game.

Malik Hamner has ideal size at 6-foot-4.5, 228-pounds. There is a lot to work with there, but he is still looking for his first offer. He could be a solid late grab with some upside.

Ryan Barbour is committed to UAB, but they are his only offer. He is still talking to other schools, but most of which are smaller conference programs. If Syracuse were to offer, it could change his thinking.

Final Thoughts

Tight end will be an interesting position in 2015. There are a number of talented prospects out there, and a few with strong interest in Syracuse. The Jake Pickard recruitment is intriguing, and will be interesting to see if the Orange can get a recruiting win there.


Scout.com's John Garcia Jr. contributed to this report

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